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Summary Report for UIUC AAUP Policy Committee on October 6, 2008

Present: Abbas Aminmansour, Ken Andersen, Geneva Belford, Linn Belford, Matthew Finkin, Bettina Francis, Harry Hilton, Harry Liebersohn, Walter McMahon, Cary Nelson, John Prussing, Robert Spitze, Donald Uchtmann, and H. F. Williamson

The meeting began at about 12:15 p.m. with Donald Uchtmann presiding. 

President's Report

(1)  Review of the Minutes for September 8, 2008.  The minutes and the summary report for this meeting were approved.

(2)  Composition of Continuing Chapter Committees for 2008-2009.  Uchtmann has received responses from a number of individuals concerning their preferences for committee assignments and their willingness to serve as co-chairs.  He will continue to work on this issue.

(3)  Invitations to Campus Administrators to meet with Policy Committee.  Walter Knorr, Vice President and CFO of the University, has accepted our invitation to meet with the committee this fall.  We are planning to set up an 11 a.m. meeting with him followed by a regular Policy Committee meeting at noon to which he will be invited.  [NOTE:  Vice President Knorr will be joining us for the December 8 meeting.]

(4)  Other.  Uchtmann reported on two other items:  (a) He thanked Nelson for his work on the Chapter’s web site.  It is important to keep the site current.  (b) He plans to write a letter to Vernon Burton thanking him for his work with the AAUP in particular and on academic governance in general in such roles as his membership on University Senates Conference.

Action Items

(5)  Planned AAUP Activities for 2008-2009.
(a)  Membership drive.  Caveny has indicated she will be working on obtaining lists of recently tenured faculty.  There is information on the web site on how to “sell” the AAUP to possible new members.  Nelson noted that there may be more information coming from national on membership issues including whether these is a discounted dues rate for new members.
(b)  Spring tenure workshop.  Hilton will start the planning.  This will include meeting with the Provost in part to discuss the workshop last spring and setting a date for the workshop next spring

(6)  Policy on Political Activities issued by UI Ethics Office.  There was a lengthy discussion of this issue.  Nelson was thanked for the AAUP documents he has prepared on the issue.  Finkin noted that there are some debatable areas regarding this issue (e.g., while it may be clear that bumper stickers should be permitted, it may be debated whether or not buttons can be worn in the classroom by instructors).  Finkin agreed to prepare a letter to President White on behalf of the Chapter.  There were concerns about how this policy could affect (a) graduate students during their employment on campus; (b) non-academic staff; and (c) recruiting given how much national publicity it has received and the fact that other major campuses have not seen such restrictions.  Given that Uchtmann will be out of town, Prussing and Aminmansour agreed to work with Finkin (a) on reviewing the statement he is preparing and (b) on our reaction to any responses that it receives.  One possible next step would be to hold a open meeting.  Hilton agreed to reserve a room for October 28 to cover this contingency.

(7)  Status of the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund.  It was noted that a document has been prepared separating the Academy from its association with the campus.  The donors will establish their own institution to meet their goals.  The conference planned for later in October will be held.

(8)  Status of the Global Campus.  President White has decided that the next step will be to propose a separate campus for the programs under the Global CampusAccreditation will then be sought for that campus.


(9)  Senate Actions.  It was noted that as we consider possible additional members of the Policy Committee, it will be important to include a member of the University Senates Conference. 

(10)  National Office.  Nelson reported that (a) a new Chief Financial Officer has been hired; (b) new software is being introduced; and (c) staff are considering forming a union so discussions of how the unit will be determined are underway.